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Historical Accounts Of The Disciples And Their Horrible Deaths


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Is this stuff documented well?  If so... What do you make of it?  When I was a believer I often heard about them dying in horrible ways and they would not deny Jesus.  Of course, I never really investigated the matter much... But is there any truth to this?

 

I'm currently of the opinion that Jesus did not exist in the manner the bible depicts... So I'm not sure what to make of the 12 disciples either.  Is there any historical data out there on their existence and their lives and their deaths?

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Also have there been any followers of the so called "false religions" who were martyred for their beliefs?  Hey if being martyred proves that your religion is real then nearly every religion is real - right?

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Is this stuff documented well?  If so... What do you make of it?  When I was a believer I often heard about them dying in horrible ways and they would not deny Jesus.  Of course, I never really investigated the matter much... But is there any truth to this?

 

I'm currently of the opinion that Jesus did not exist in the manner the bible depicts... So I'm not sure what to make of the 12 disciples either.  Is there any historical data out there on their existence and their lives and their deaths?

I don't think there's much evidence for the persecution and torture of the early Christians. My assumption is that they were just as "persecuted" as the Christians are in America today. People stand up and refuse to let their religion become a state religion and they scream "persecution." I'm sure there are some who even claim they went to Guantanamo for being "Christian." Probably there were some early Christians that behaved like Westboro Baptists, and maybe some of them were terrorists even. In the end, not persecuted for their religion, but for them upsetting order in society.
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The lack of physical evidence for a human being named Jesus of Nazareth is also true for his phantom disciples. As far as I am aware there is no evidence that supports the 12 disciples being real people either. If the "Peter" that appears in the gospels was the same Peter found in Acts and Paul's epistles that would be problematic. The Peter in the books of Acts and Paul's epistles would appear to have fallen out of favor. The Peter in Acts wasn't even in charge of the Jerusalem church and apparently was little more than Paul's subordinate sometimes companion.

 

 

 

The Peter found in the gospels was given the keys to the church/kingdom and was in Jesus inner circle. The Peter of Acts and Paul's friend/companion doesn't appear to be in charge of anything. There is an abundance of evidence, or in this case a complete lack of any physical evidence, that indicates the gospels and all the characters found in them were myths.

 

 

 

 

 

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There was in fact organized persecution by Nero that being said. Nero was bat shit crazy and persecuted everyone equally its not like the Christians were a special circumstance they just happened to pique his mad mind. Note to self don't put your beliefs on the radar of bat shit crazy rulers of empires who have the ability to kill you. Also there is evidence to suggest that Christians martyred themselves kinda like suicide cults. There was a diary of a Christian woman condemned to the arena long story short through second hand accounts after she went to the arena the gladiator didn't want to kill her and she dove on the sword. Now how true is that story I have no idea but there are some other similar accounts if you do the research. So how many were really martyred for their beliefs who knows.

 

Also there is no evidence to support any of the death claims of the 12 apostles its just more mythology in fact their gruesome deaths are literally only carried on through oral tradition there is NO historical evidence for their deaths written or otherwise during their time or hundreds of years after it is just a big ole suicide cult fairytale.

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How much of this suicide cult was driven by the delusion that the world was going to end over 1,900 years ago?

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I haven't read it yet, but this book is on my wish list -- maybe it will answer some of our questions on the subject.  

 

 

The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom by Candida Moss

 

http://www.amazon.com/The-Myth-Persecution-Christians-Martyrdom/dp/0062104527

 

 

"In The Myth of Persecution, Candida Moss, a leading expert on early Christianity, reveals how the early church exaggerated, invented, and forged stories of Christian martyrs and how the dangerous legacy of a martyrdom complex is employed today to silence dissent and galvanize a new generation of culture warriors."

 

 

 

There is a little info here too:  

 

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/notre-dame-professor-tackles-myth-christian-martyrdom-151620492.html

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As for whether there is any historical data about the deaths of the apostles, it depends on what you call historical data.  I assume you mean reliable historical data and of that, I know of none.  However, there are some old works which make some claims.  For example, here is a link to an apocryphal work called "The Acts of Peter" which purports to speak of both Paul's and Peter's deaths.  This may be one of the sources for the notion that Peter was crucified upside down.  It was written somewhere around 200 C.E.

 

Here is an excerpt about Peter and I will provide the link thereafter:

 

XXXVII. And having approached and standing by the cross he began to say: O name of the cross, thou hidden mystery! O grace ineffable that is pronounced in the name of the cross! O nature of man, that cannot be separated from God! O love (friendship) unspeakable and inseparable, that cannot be shown forth by unclean lips! I seize thee now, I that am at the end of my delivery hence (or, of my coming hither). I will declare thee, what thou art: I will not keep silence of the mystery of the cross which of old was shut and hidden from my soul. Let not the cross be unto you which hope in Christ, this which appeareth: for it is another thing, different from that which appeareth, even this passion which is according to that of Christ. And now above all, because ye that can hear are able to hear it of me, that am at the last and final hour of my life, hearken: Separate your souls from every thing that is of the senses, from every thing that appeareth, and does not exist in truth. Blind these eyes of yours, close these ears of yours, put away your doings that are seen; and ye shall perceive that which concerneth Christ, and the whole mystery of your salvation: and let thus much be said unto you that hear, as if it had not been spoken. But now it is time for thee, Peter, to deliver up thy body unto them that take it. Receive it then, ye unto whom it belongeth. I beseech you the executioners, crucify me thus, with the head downward and not otherwise: and the reason wherefore, I will tell unto them that hear.

 

(emphasis mine)

 

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/actspeter.html

 

By the way, if you continue reading where I left off, Peter's death was not so horrible (although being executed would never be pleasant, of course).  The executioners do as he asks and crucify him with his head downward and then, as promised at the end of what I quoted, Peter explains why he wanted to be crucified in that manner.  After he made his speech, Peter "...gave up his spirit unto the Lord."  So, there was not much suffering according to this work.

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Is this stuff documented well?  If so... What do you make of it?  When I was a believer I often heard about them dying in horrible ways and they would not deny Jesus.  Of course, I never really investigated the matter much... But is there any truth to this?

 

I'm currently of the opinion that Jesus did not exist in the manner the bible depicts... So I'm not sure what to make of the 12 disciples either.  Is there any historical data out there on their existence and their lives and their deaths?

 

You may want to check out the most recent Reasonable Doubts podcast. In the second segment they look at the evidence for the claim that Jesus' disciples faced martyrs' deaths for their beliefs. I'll spoil it for you: you can count on one hand the plausibly reliable accounts from prior to the second and third centuries and none of them rise to the level of indicating that any of them actually died specifically for believing in a physical resurrection or were ever even given the opportunity to recant. This is true even for the examples given in the Bible. "Die for a lie" is easily one of the the lamest attempts at supporting the claims of Christianity.

 

 

There was in fact organized persecution by Nero

 

Moss addresses that claim in her book. Given the credibility issues of the primary source, the evidence that there was organized persecution of Christians under Nero hardly rises to the level of "fact". It's more like a possibility.

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There was in fact organized persecution by Nero that being said. Nero was bat shit crazy and persecuted everyone equally its not like the Christians were a special circumstance they just happened to pique his mad mind. Note to self don't put your beliefs on the radar of bat shit crazy rulers of empires who have the ability to kill you. Also there is evidence to suggest that Christians martyred themselves kinda like suicide cults. There was a diary of a Christian woman condemned to the arena long story short through second hand accounts after she went to the arena the gladiator didn't want to kill her and she dove on the sword. Now how true is that story I have no idea but there are some other similar accounts if you do the research. So how many were really martyred for their beliefs who knows.

 

Also there is no evidence to support any of the death claims of the 12 apostles its just more mythology in fact their gruesome deaths are literally only carried on through oral tradition there is NO historical evidence for their deaths written or otherwise during their time or hundreds of years after it is just a big ole suicide cult fairytale.

 

Or maybe that gladiator story was just a fable, meant to tell of how christians of the time were acting like christians of today. Playing the "I'm persecuted!" card, and feigning martyrdom, even to the point of doing stuff that would get them killed. I don't know. Just an idea. Sometimes fables make it as history in memory. Like Queen Shimatrammat (I think that's how you spell it), she became the famous wife of Ninus, a fictitious ruler of assyria and its legendary founder. The myth being completely myth, but the queen actually was a queen.

 

Does that make the Assyrian religion real?

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This stood out to me:

Q: But you believe there is real persecution of Christians in the world today?

A: Yes, there is. It’s a “boy who cried wolf” situation. One of the reasons we are not hearing about them is because of all of the cries of persecution here — and local cries about persecution overshadow the global ones. We do need to hear those stories about Christians in other parts of the world, but we need to make sure that instead of talking about the global war on Christianity — which a lot of Christian and Catholic reporters have done — that we tell the story in a way that doesn’t do violence to other persecuted groups.

Christians live in a very difficult situation in China, for example. But it’s not so much part of a global war on Christianity as it is the Chinese government’s treatment of the religious in general. If we make it just about the war on Christianity then we betray people like the Falun Gong, who are very persecuted in China.

 

It's very true. They're taking away from the attention that could be spent trying to get rid of real christian persecution, and other religious persecution. Places where christianity is really persecuted are in places like China, Iraq, Iran, North Africa, etc....

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I'm really embarrassed I believed any of this stuff...  The historical data to support all of these claims is either non-existent or extremely questionable.  I was so deceived.

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I'm really embarrassed I believed any of this stuff...  The historical data to support all of these claims is either non-existent or extremely questionable.  I was so deceived.

 

Don't be embarrassed.  Christianity is one of the world's most successful scams.  It has been refined for years and it only took root because it was enforced by the legions of Rome and then later by the kingdoms of Europe.

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The teachings of the horrible deaths of the desciples are church traditional teachings to encourage steadfastness in the face of death and torture or imprisonment for the 'faith.' There is no proof the disciples died in the manner in which the church claims. If they actually lived, they more than likely ran for their lives when Jesus was crucified. No one should feel bad they were duped by the church. The doctrine's been pounded into our subconciousness by the twits for over 2,000 years. Look how long the old gods Mars, Venus, Appollo, Jupiter, etc., were worshipped. Christianity is not going away any time soon.

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Is this stuff documented well?  If so... What do you make of it?  When I was a believer I often heard about them dying in horrible ways and they would not deny Jesus.  Of course, I never really investigated the matter much... But is there any truth to this?

 

I'm currently of the opinion that Jesus did not exist in the manner the bible depicts... So I'm not sure what to make of the 12 disciples either.  Is there any historical data out there on their existence and their lives and their deaths?

As others have pointed out, the deaths of the disciples is based on Church tradition.

From a Biblical perspective, the only deaths are Stephen and a "James".

John the Baptist could also be included but Judas wasn't killed for his faith.

You have good reason to question the existence of "Jesus" as depicted in the New Testament.

http://agnosticreview.com/fame.htm

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